Kvyat follows up debut points run with encore in Malaysia

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Russian rookie Daniil Kvyat of Scuderia Toro Rosso is two-for-two in points scoring appearances in his first two Grands Prix.

“It’s good to finish in the top ten for a second time in a row now. This afternoon’s race was very difficult and intense with a lot of fighting,” said the 19-year-old. “The first two stints were hard when I was fighting the Williams and McLaren in the early stages, but they were faster than me on the straight. I was quite happy with the final stint and having managed to defend my position.”

The quick growth for Kvyat will see him advance from a track he never raced at before (Melbourne) to one where he has (Sepang) and now one where he’s tested with this car (Bahrain).

“Overall it was a good weekend and I hope we continue to improve like this as the car definitely has potential,” he said. “So I’m looking forward to going straight to Bahrain to race again in a week’s time. It will be interesting to be on a track where we have actually tested with this car.”

A potential third straight Malaysian GP points appearance for teammate Jean-Eric Vergne ended with power unit issues, but the Frenchman rued a missed opportunity.

“I think I had a great start today but very soon I felt some problems with the car,” said “JEV.” “I lost power in the car and I just saw everybody overtaking me. Then I found myself in a sandwich between a Caterham and (Jules) Bianchi and maybe I was a bit too ambitious to think I could try and pass the two cars. It was just not possible and this resulted in the collision, which damaged my front wing.

“At this point I knew that my race was compromised, so I was hoping for some rain and maybe a safety car to change the cards on the table and re-join the pack. But then I continued to suffer with the car and my race was over. It’s really a shame, as this was a race in which we could have been strong and achieve a good result.”

Ahead of Bahrain next weekend, the team looks to match up with one of its best ever qualifying results, a sixth achieved by ex-STR driver Daniel Ricciardo in 2012.

Ken Roczen signs with HEP Progressive Ecstar Suzuki for 2023

Roczen Progressive Ecstar Suzuki
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ANAHEIM, California – Ken Roczen will make the move from HRC Honda to H.E.P. Motorsports with the Progressive Ecstar Suzuki team, ending a long and eventful offseason that saw his split from his longstanding team after he committed to running World Supercross (WSX).

“H.E.P. Motorsports is thrilled to announce that the team has signed Ken Roczen as its premier rider for the 2023 season,” the team announced on Instagram. “Former AMA Motocross champion Roczen will be aboard a Suzuki RM-Z450. Roczen, who won his most recent championship on a Suzuki, will be reunited with the brand and bring his exciting style, determination, and grit back to the RM Army.

“Ken Roczen will compete in the upcoming 2023 Supercross and Motocross Championship series which is set to start on January 7 at Anaheim Stadium in Southern California.”

For Roczen, it is a return to the bike of his youth and on which he had some of his greatest professional success.

“This thing has been going on for weeks and weeks and weeks in the making, but there was so much uncertainty,” Roczen told NBC Sports during Monster Energy Supercross Media Sessions. “It was a very unique situation. I just finally signed two nights ago, so it’s really only legit once the ink hits the paper. It’s been in the works for a long time, but there were just a lot of questions and a lot of input from a lot of other teams too.

“Good things take time, and I’m okay with that. I grew up riding Suzuki. Ot’s like a homecoming. It’s a special feeling”

Roczen won the 2016 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship on a Suzuki before making the move to Honda. That year he won nine of 12 Nationals and finished no worse than second as he easily outpaced Eli Tomac by 86 points. He finished third in his next Pro Motocross outing in 2018 after sitting out the outdoor season in 2017.

“I am beyond excited to reconnect with Suzuki for the 3rd time in my career. We’ve had a lot of success in the past and I’m looking forward to seeing what we can accomplish together in our future.” Roczen said in the Instagram post.